Co-operative • Custom Dice Rolling • Narrative Campaign
Polyomino • Worker Placement • Upgrade your ship and crew
Living Starship is a massive endeavor that has been in the works (in uncountable variations at this point) for over 12 years. It is still a work in progress but is settling rather quickly into its final shape along side the debut novel set in the same universe.
The core idea has always been to create a cooperative game that evokes crewing a large starship, not just pulling the strings of a few central characters, but managing a big 'ol vessel chalk-full of myriad people all of whom contribute to the operation of the vessel and the progression of an epic narrative story by completing vital missions.
The game, at some point, has been designed with most every mechanism you might imagine -- super heavy euro resource management, engine building, worker placement, dice rolling (with various custom dice, standard polyhedral dice, only d6s, only d12s), deck-building, roll n' write, and likely even versions we've forgotten about. But common to every iteration has been the thread that we wanted to make sure that players could almost always accomplish what they need in the moment even if the cheapest/ideal method might not be currently available.
What the game has settled into is something palatable for players new to hobby gaming while combining several popular game mechanisms that are, hopefully, more or less intuitive to pick up. Players will combine polyomino placement and dice rolling to solve unique puzzles that progress the story along a course where your choices will actually have impact.
The ship itself will be operated rather like a macro character with its own dice and cards activated by your meeples. In campaign play, be cautious - your central characters may not all survive the missions you send them on. When death occurs, you will have to shift your point of view to a new character and help them achieve individual goals while contributing to the greater good.
Take a peek at the RULE BOOK (updated Oct 6, 2022) as it develops. (Keep in mind it is a work in progress and is not currently set with permanent images, layout, graphic design nor wording/grammar).
CUSTOM DICE & POLYOMINOS
One thing we love is DICE! Specifically, polyhedral dice.
Because of the broad color palette already in use for the overall game, we needed the dice to be distinguishable from each other in more than just color so using all d6's or d12's or some such was not feasible.
SHAPE was the answer, but traditional polyhedral dice numerology creates too much of a mathematical variance in results to be well balanced. So we retain the traditional shapes of dice but have customized the number range on each size.
Dice Sides: Basic d4 [0,1,1,2] • Trained d6 [0,1,1,2, 2, 3] •. Proficient d8 [0,1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4] • Expert d10 [0,1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5] • Master d12 [0,1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5]
Each player selects a POV (point of view) character which is represented by a unique player board.
Each board has spaces to track stress and injury along with the use of their wearable technology - their uniform.
As your character progresses through the story and is afforded opportunities to get promoted, their skills and game-manipulating uniform abilities improve as well.
Each player will also have Action Cards which allow them to affect various elements of the game from dice rolling, cube acquisition and polyomino placement. Action cards are also usable (by discarding them) in trigger other game effects in the critical moment you need them.
The center of your Living Starship game experience is the ship on which you and the rest of the crew serve. There are grids for storing the polyomino tiles you generate, slots to hold the polyhedral dice you acquire and empty rooms to construct new duty stations to better customize your functionality and ability to complete missions.
Maintaining high MORALE will allow each player to draw and place more meeples from the crew bag every turn. Keeping ship EFFICIENCY high allows players to garner greater results from the functions of the worker placement spots thereby generating the resources needed to fulfill game objectives. Obviously, keeping your ship intact will keep the entire crew alive and thriving.
The MOTIVATION wheel keeps track of your crew's basic outlook on life and the ship's relationship to the galaxy's denizens. This status will impact how effectively you interact with various colonies and missions. If your crew's motivation opposes that of a mission things will be more challenging, if they are more like-minded it will be easier.
The STAGE track is the timeline upon which your various missions appear. Each mission card enters at Stage 1. After each player's turn all applicable impediments trigger. At the end of a round all incomplete missions slide down one space. If a mission is not completed by the time it moves off Stage 4, the mission is failed and plot points are lost (which will very likely affect the difficulty or outcomes of new missions).
The crux of the game lies within the missions. Each mission represents a scene in the current episode. Completing that scene by sending crewpers (meeples) to the mission with polyominos and dice that have been produced on your ship will propel you toward completing the entire episode's objective(s). Keep in mind, you will complete missions with varying levels of success and failure, but there is no going back once a mission is done.
Each mission requires a specific combination of polyominos (usually one in each of three colors) of a minimum size each. Three polyhedral dice also need to be carted along and a minimum result rolled on each of those dice will add to the total score. Each dice result (using a cube to represent its placement since the dice are too big) and polyomino must cover their respective icons on the grid.
Once one item (termed an asset) is placed, the next one placed must be orthogonally adjacent to a previously-placed asset. The more space you cover on the grid and the higher your dice rolls are the better your score will be, thus increasing the rewards you gain for completing the mission.
A mission can fail if it goes four rounds without its minimum requirements being met by away teams so make sure you don't dilly-dally in getting the jobs done!